Repair Your Pokémon 3DS Cart?

There’s been some reports of Pokémon Omega Ruby 3DS cart’s no longer booting.  While the issue seemed a bit over-blown, it is something that’s happening to some people and Voultar thinks he might have a fix!:  Opening the cart and re-flowing the chip seems to have solved the issue.

It makes sense that these small “cartridges” with surface-mount components and tiny pins might have the solder mask worn through over time.  Unlike the larger game cartridges from the 80’s and 90’s, there’s a lot more potential for these to flex, causing the thin layer of solder on the main chip’s pins to slowly loose their connection.  Alternatively, the larger through-hole components found in cartridges like the NES’ should have more solder applied to a larger area and those PCB’s won’t flex nearly as much as the smaller 3DS carts.  Another contributing factor might be the switch to lead-free solder, that while environmentally safer, doesn’t work as well.

Overall, I’d say this fix isn’t for beginners, but most people with a decent iron, flux and some patience can pull it off.  It stinks that this is happening at all, but it’s very cool that the fix is essentially free if you already own the tools.  If not, please check out the tools section of this website!  You do not need to spend a fortune to get quality tools and the iron’s both Voultar and I use can be had for far less than the name-brand stuff, even with all the part shortages and price increases the world is currently dealing with

Liked it? Take a second to support Bob on Patreon!